Bea is the flagship restaurant of Matt Moran’s Barangaroo House and it’s serving up exquisite modern Australian cuisine.
Although Executive Chef Cory Campbell has worked in some of the best restaurants in Europe (including Noma), the menu at Bea is unmistakably Australian with a focus on local ingredients. While the two set menus were very tempting, I had heard rumors that the Whole Roast Duck was mind blowing and a must order. Along with the duck, we ordered Smoked Bone Marrow, Butter Lettuce, Burrata and Sourdough Bread.
As there’s a 40 minute wait for the Southern Highlands duck, my guest and I dug straight into the Smoked Bone Barrow and Burrata. Both dishes were rich and luxurious, perfect for whetting one’s appetite.
As we finished up the two appetizers, the long awaited duck arrived, it’s smoky aroma lingered around the table. The glistening duck is served in two plates, with the dark meats in a smaller bowl.
Because the duck has been roasted whole in the wood fire grill, the meat has become ridiculously juicy and tender, while the skin intense with flavor thanks to a glaze of honey and mixed spices. I’m quite glad that I had ordered the Butter Lettuce, which has been lightly dressed with lemon, as it provided a refreshing break in between my bites of the luscious duck. Having said that, I managed to devour around two thirds of the bird myself because it was that ducking incredible (sorry, not sorry).
I can state unequivocally that this is the best damn duck I’ve tasted in Australia.
Despite being completely satiated, my guest and I still went for dessert by sharing the Cookies and Cream dish. The deconstructed dessert, a creative play on the well known ice cream flavour, featured malt ice cream and chocolate cookie crumbs.
Cocktails lovers will be spoilt for choice at Bea as there’s an exhaustive list of cocktails including original drinks such as Bea Beautiful (hah!) and Native Chaplin. As it was winter, several cocktails were being served warm including the Hot Buttered Rum which was made from two kinds of Bacardi rum and a spiced butter mix.
I really enjoyed the cordial service from the waiter assigned to our table, in particular his patience in explaining some of the dishes that had vague or cryptic names. Water was topped up throughout the meal and we were asked politely if we wanted additional drinks.
The restaurant has an Art Deco theme, with a mix of leather, brass and timber throughout the main dining room. There’s also a selection of outdoor seating with waterfront views. Bea’s intimate atmosphere is ideal for dates and special occasions but can still suit a casual lunch. Most of the tables are arranged into 2 or 4 seats but larger groups can contact the restaurant directly for bookings.
Best duck ever. Enough Said.
This review was based on an independently paid meal.
1/35 Barangaroo Avenue
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 8587 5400